You know what? I’m a (health) foodie snob. There I said it… but I’m also guilty of going to the same cafe daily because I know they’re awesome (Cafe Mint I’m looking at you).
Well recently I was given the opportunity to shake things up a little. I was loaned a new set of wheels, a Ford EcoSport to be precise – and yes it was pretty amazing to drive! You see, the Ford EcoSport (www.ford.com/au/suv/ecosport) was the perfect chariot to ferry me around the city of Sydney and discover some divine new places.
I actually felt my happiness levels rise about 5 points as I rediscovered that long lost sense of freedom. The ability to just jump in my car when I wanted to and zip around the city was fantastic – just to explain my random sense of excitement, I currently car share with my partner… spontaneous drives aren’t always on the cards.
Anyway, via my searching and exploring of this beautiful city Sydney I have taken the guessing game out of where to go to eat your health food fix – below is the first of my ‘hot delish hit list’. It is also a superb justification to fuel my breakfast addiction.
Cafe Mint, Surry Hills
To say that we are regulars at Cafe Mint is an understatement. I was first introduced to this Turkish/Middle Eastern inspired haven about 6 months after moving to Sydney (7 years ago) by a friend and haven’t looked back. Amazing coffee, staff which are more like friends, and the food? So delish it just keeps me coming back for more. I’m a huge fan of their Baked Eggs with chackchouka with a side of avocado, mushrooms, and bacon.
I’m also partial to ‘The Hummus’ which is their house made chickpea dip with the right balance of spices, lemon juice & olive oil served with spicy slow cooked lamb mince & pine nuts with caramelized onions & za’atar toast (which I just leave off cause you know, I’m not down with eating gluten!).
It’s also just as good for dinner – just swap the coffee for a Pomegranate mojito and share a selection of modern Middle Eastern dishes with your loved one or try my fave (too good to share) : Beef cheek – slow cooked with tomato, preserved lemon & ras el hanout. Served on saffron & cauliflower puree with cucumber salad. Oh sweet food Jesus!
O Organics, Surry Hills
It was only after a client told me how good O Organics mushrooms bruschetta was which made me go in for a second look, and now they can’t get rid of me. I’m a huge fan of their Mr Muscle smoothie (so good that Shaun goes in with or without me to get one!), chicken rice paper rolls or gluten free banana bread for those mornings when you just need a little extra love. They also do almond milk which gets bonus points from me.
Twig Cafe, Surry Hills
Hiding to the side of a luxe garden shop in Surry Hills lives Twig Cafe, and I dare you not to feel relaxed surrounded by trees and greenery while you sip your Rabbit Hole organic hand blended chai tea. Launched in 2010 by Husband & wife team Richard & Lorraine Francis they choose to source local for their sustainable and organic menu, with their philosophy being to eat chemical free in season produce. I generally go overboard and select a whole bunch of sides for breakfast, while for lunch, I chose between the many generous salads they have to offer.
Bread & Circus, Alexandria www.breadandcircus.com.au/
Located a little too close to home for my credit cards (and partner’s) liking… Bread & Circus is a place where my health nerd heart really gets to sing. Ginger rainwater kefir drink? Tick. Bullet Chili scrambled eggs with a side of avocado, wilted spinach, fresh tomato and maybe a little sulphur free ham? You bet. Or a dish that got me back onto the quinoa (which is actually a seed fyi) bandwagon, Breakfast with Gwyneth; free range eggs with chili quinoa, avocado and a whole lot of flavour! Oh and if you are feeling like something little but with a sweet edge, the spelt banana bread is pretty dam good – just top with a layer of raw creamed honey and its good to go! Words of advice, arrive early.
Bruce Leaves, Alexandria www.bruceleaves.com.au/
Hidden behind the Prestige Car dealership on O’Riordan St, Bruce Leaves is the new kid on the block. This hidden little gem of a salad bar packs a punch followed by a swift kick to your flavour jatzies. There is plenty on offer from amazing chef designed salad menus with a number of seriously good fresh juices and smoothies to wet your whistle. I am particularly fond of the Sashimi Salmon-Al Warrior which is fresh local sashimi salmon (obviously) with green tea soba noodles (I replace these with extra salad fyi), cherry tomotos, cucumber, avocoado, asian herbs and leaves topped off with a wasabi pea and special wafu white sesame dressing. Yum. Worth the drive for a nourishing take away lunch.
Nans Place, Zetland
I literally just discovered this place yesterday on a little corner on Portman Street in Zetland and it was instant hipster love. I’ll be back solely for their Inside Out almond milk coffees. Food wise they seem to have all the dishes to bring on a classic case of nostalgia – think eggs and soldiers plus health options for us nourishing natzis such as blue lentil salad (roast beets, miso eggplant, cress and house labna), stay tuned for a full food review.
Kitchen by Mike, Rosebery
I’m not sure if it’s the fresh menu that changes daily (to reflect what is in season), or if it’s the old warehouse which makes the atmosphere so great… but there is something about Kitchen By Mike which makes it feel just so dam cool. I adore the variety of salads and if I see that there is crispy pork belly on the menu for lunch, I am there. Although the spread is unique from day to day based on market finds, you can expect to find at least 2 meat or fish dishes such as Kurobutta ham with mash & cumberland sauce; woodroasted herb chicken with carrots and salsa verde; or mackerel with asparagus & herb butter, an array of 5 or more salads such as blood orange, fennel, olive & pine nut salad; green bean, fig, hazelnut & feta salad; cucumber with mirin & sesame; wood fired pumpkin with nigella seeds; avocado with black bean vinaigrette; or fresh pressed tofu with ponzu
Bondi Wholefoods, North Bondi
I first discovered Bondi Wholefoods while getting lost driving down the back streets of Bondi trying to get a car park – thank god my Ford Ecosport made it easy!! Best. Discovery. Ever. As you may have noticed breakfast is my weakness and Bondi Wholefoods certainly gives me a lot of amazing nourishing options to choose from. Quinoa porridge, buckwheat pancakes, gluten free toast with smashed avocado and just too much awesomeness to settle on just one thing. The coffee gets a big tick from me, as does their smoothie menu.
Earth To Table, Bondi Junction
A raw cafe which attracts everyone, from strict meat eaters to strict organic vegans, because it’s that good. Go for their smoothies, their raw deserts (you always need to try more than one, because you know, they are guilt free) and go there to try a little raw zucchini pasta with basil pesto. A beautiful way to ease yourself into the ‘clean eating’ without ever feeling like you are depriving yourself. Hot tip, pay for extra parking because you are always there for longer than you expect!
Have you discovered anywhere amazing? First, comment below so I can check it out, then head to www.ecosportdiscoveries.com.au and submit it to be in the running to win $20,000!!! Don’t forget to buy me lunch if you win!